THE Victorian Government's new horse welfare code, providing greater guidance to owners, takes effect today.
Earlier this year Weekly Times Now reported horses ranked second only to dogs for the numbers of reports of suspected animal cruelty.
Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh said the code - which includes tips on care and husbandry, feed and water requirements, and fencing and stabling - was developed after consultation with the equine industry, the government's Animal Welfare Advisory Committee and the RSPCA.
"The previous horse welfare code had not been updated since 1988 so this updated code was well overdue," Mr Walsh said.
The new code includes tips on care and husbandry, feed and water requirements, and fencing and stabling;
- recommendations on the agistment of horses, which is a necessity for many families who live in urban communities;
- a new section on body condition scoring, to give owners an objective method of monitoring the suitability of a horse’s diet and general health; and
- a greater level of guidance regarding horse dental care and ensuring appropriately experienced and capable practitioners provide dental procedures and treatment.